Mon 4 May 2009
You want people to talk about your business. You want them to do it often, and you want them to do it with a positive tone. However, so many business owners find that it's hard to spark word-of-mouth advertising.
Thankfully, social networks are becoming the premier influence when it comes to creating a contagious buzz around your business. Online tools like Yelp, Angie's List, MySpace, and many other popular sites are where most shoppers get information about businesses today. You can positively influence the buzz on social network sites by using a few simple techniques.
Encourage Customer Reviews
Online ratings and reviews are becoming influential when it comes to obtaining and retaining new customers. Reward your customers for writing and posting reviews by offering special money saving coupons or deals to those who participate. You can distribute small flyers to your best customers, encouraging them to sign onto a set number of websites and create reviews. They can print their reviews and bring them into the store, and in return, you can extend a special coupon or even a promotional item as a token of thanks.
Create Opportunities for Instant Feedback
Some customers might be willing to provide feedback about your business right away. You can create opportunities for them to do this by setting up a computer terminal near the sales register where customers can sit down and comment on their recent transaction. Reward customers for participating with a coupon to be used on their next visit.
Train Sales Staff to Enhance Buzz
While it isn't possible to get rid of negative reviews, it is possible to train your staff to create meaningful customer experiences. The more enthusiastic and dedicated your employees are on the frontline, the more likely customers are to share their experiences by word of mouth and online reviews. You can also encourage employees to provide white glove service through reward programs recognizing excellence in service and sales.
Monitor Your Business Online
In order to encourage positive buzz regarding your business, you have to keep a stringent eye on what is being posted about your business online. Assign members of your leadership and management team the responsibility of researching recent posting to leading social networking sites, and be prepared to combat negative feedback.